Cheltenham seeks new sponsor for big handicap hurdle at the open as Greatwood's connection ends

Cheltenham Racecourse announced today that the valuable handicap hurdle on The Open Sunday, November 18, 2012, will be run under a different name this year as the 11-year association with Greatwood, the retired racehorse welfare charity, has ended. The Greatwood Handicap Hurdle was sponsored on behalf of the charity by Nigel Bunter, owner of the Barbury Castle Estate, which is home to the Barbury Castle Horse Trials and to the stables of leading Jumps trainer Alan King.

Commenting on the news, Nigel Bunter said: “I am extremely proud to have had the chance to support the Greatwood Hurdle for the past 11 years. During that time, the race has become a leading trial for the Champion Hurdle at The Festival with many famous winners including Rooster Booster in 2002, Detroit City in 2006, Sizing Europe in 2007 and Menorah in 2010, but above all I have been delighted to support the Greatwood Charity which does such wonderful work with retired racehorses and disadvantaged children and which continues to need the help of all of us in racing.”

Helen Yeadon, co-founder of Greatwood, commented: “I can’t thank Nigel enough for his generous and enthusiastic support of our charity over the years; particularly with the Greatwood Hurdle. There is no doubt that this valuable televised race at Cheltenham and associated publicity has had a huge impact on the profile of our work and enabled us to help many more horses and children than would otherwise have been the case.”

Cheltenham’s Director of Sponsorship, Peter McNeile, added: “We are very grateful to Nigel for his support of this race over the past decade and more and now look forward to continuing its huge success with a different partner.”

The Greatwood Charity Race, previously held on the same day as the Greatwood Hurdle, will now take place on Saturday, October 20, at Cheltenham’s Showcase Meeting.

Further information from:

Andy Clifton, Cheltenham’s Communications Manager, on 07876 330090 or via

For more information about Barbury Castle, please visit


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